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Why App Indexing is must for app owners? Guide & Resources to do it.

App Indexing Importance and helpful guide

Today is the first day of June, almost two months completed of this financial year 2015-2016 in UK and many other countries. After analyzing two months financial figures, businesses will set new sales targets or parameters and define strategy for achieving them. Ecommerce sector’s contribution is now considers core part of the market growth and people focus on statistics too.

Couple of months ago, Google announced two important updates which every eCommerce business owners or managers should know. Google has revised algorithm for giving better results to mobile or tablet device users. Google has started populating more mobile friendly sites in SERPs (search engine result page). In another update Google announced in the same blog is App indexing. Google now expands its crawler to mobile apps too. Google has started indexing mobile app content and populating it in SERPs if searchers have installed the app in their devices. To get more about this both update read the blog on Google Webmaster Blog.

Here I would like to light the lamp on second one because my friend Brijesh has already published an article Go with Google, Go with Mobile!!!In this article he has explained how you can reap the benefits of recent Google update by making your website mobile compatible.

My topic is focused to all eCommerce and non-eCommerce business geeks who have websites and mobile apps Both. It is the most important part of technical SEO nowadays so all my SEO or digital marketing friends can upgrade their knowledge base.

My writing is separated into two parts

1: How website and app combination increase your sales figure

2: Five steps guide to make this true

Let me break the first point…

Let me refer United Kingdom’s renowned fashion retailer River Island as an example. River Island has a dedicated eCommerce store www.riverisland.com and also have mobile apps for all platform except blackberry. But the Google’s update is currently affects only android mobile users so here I only refer Android App (as I have completed writing iOS app indexing also announced). River Island android app has 5,00,000+ users (exactly 501K according to www.xyo.net).

Now for example Prom Dresses Keyword (I know importance of long phrase keywords, but for big data analysis I prefer this one)

Avg. Monthly Searches for Prom Dresses in Google Keyword Planner (UK location): 201,000

Keyword Planner Screenshot

Approx. 43% search queries in the same keyword group implied by mobile users. As per this nearly 86430 search for Prom Dresses comes from mobile devices in UK region.

When I have checked ranking in private window, I found River Island at 19th position in Google.co.uk for Prom Dresses

According to Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer report 2014, there are thirty five million smart phone users. (Two adults out of three have smart phones in U.K.). Now I have another important statistics.

28% smart phone users use shopping apps in U.K.

Let me calculate…

28% of 35 million=9,800,000

9,800,000 people are using shopping apps in their devices. Now if I say 58% of them is android users and 33% is iOS users and remaining others are blackberry, windows etc., (See the report published by ABI Research)

So as per above parameters 5,684,000 approx. users have android smart phones. River Island’s app download numbers is 501,000. So if we calculate around 8.81% people have River Island android apps in their devices.

Now let me come to the search queries figures back. Nearly 86430 searches for Prom Dresses are performed by mobile users in UK. Imagine 50% of searches from android users then 43215 searches are performed by android mobile users and 8.81% of them has River Island Android App in their device.

Now it’s time to calculate the final figure 8.81% of 43215=3808 approx.

Finally we can say 3808 searches (In United Kingdom location) of Prom Dresses that have been implied by android users who have River Island mobile app in their devices.

You can improve conversion rate and ultimately sales revenue too by following below 5 steps process. You can achieve rank on first page for Prom Dresses query by just below described process. But Google will populate your android app product or category page instead of website page.

Example given above will be helpful to optimize for the audience who have your app and search (In Google) for the same thing you are selling. Believe me it’s not any rocket science, it is very simple. But for small businesses it is somehow difficult because of fewer android app users.

Now I should come to the second point in which I will tell you how can achieve higher rank in SERPs in the android mobile device where your app has been installed already.

5 Steps Guide you should follow…

1: App Indexing: First of all send a request of indexing app content by Google crawler. You need to fill this form. After processing your request, Google will start indexing your content and will display it within search result with deep links.

2: Add Deep Links to your app: There are three elements of deep links <action>, <data>, <category>. In <intent-filter> section you can use all three tags as below.

<activity android:name=”com.example.android.3iInfoCom”android:label=”@string/title_3iInfoCom” ><intent-filter android:label=”@string/filter_title_view3iInfoCom”><action android:name=”android.intent.action.VIEW” /><!– Accepts URIs that begin with “http://example.com/3iInfoCom” –>

<data android:scheme=”http”

android:host=”example.com”

android:pathPrefix=”/3iInfoCom” />

<category android:name=”android.intent.category.DEFAULT” />

<category android:name=”android.intent.category.BROWSABLE” />

</intent-filter>

</activity>

3: Revise your App Manifest: Application manifest is similar to XML site-map we use for website. To give a proper way to reach at particular content inside the app, you just need to specify intent filters in App manifest.

4: App Indexing API: Using this API developers can notify Google about deep links in their apps and grant permission to Google App (version 3.6 or above) to build re-engagement through Google search query auto completion. Lawrence Chang product manager at Google explains how to integrate App Indexing API. See the video here

5: Add deep links on your eCommerce Site: There are three different ways to add deep links in your website.

1:<Link> element in <head> section of web page.

e.g.

<head>…<link rel=”alternate” href=”android-app://com.example.android/http/example.com/3i InfoCom” /></head>

2: Link Rel= Alternate in XML sitemap

e.g.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″ ?><urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″ xmlns:xhtml=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”><url>  <loc>http://example.com/3iInfoCom</loc>  <xhtml:link rel=”alternate” href=”android-app://com.example.android/example/3iInfoCom” /></url>…</urlset> 

3: Using Schema.org you can give insight into about deep links in your app.

e.g.

<script type=”application/ld+json”>{  “@context”: “http://schema.org”,   “@type”: “WebPage”,   “@id”: “http://example.com/3iInfoCom”,   “potentialAction”: {    “@type”: “ViewAction”,     “target”: “android-app://com.example.android/http/example.com/3iInfoCom”  }}</script>

That’s it. Now requires your feedback and comments for making it cheerful for eCommerce development service professionals and digital marketing guys too….

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